The Truth About Lift Capacity – What Do These Numbers Actually Mean?

how is tractor lift capacity rated. how is operating capacity rated on a skid steer. mini skid steer operating capacity

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Hey it's Brock here with Rock Hill Farms And today I want to talk about lift Capacity and rated operating capacity on Tractors and skid steers and other types Of Equipment now if you've ever went to buy A piece of equipment then you probably Know that these numbers can be confusing And often the number that you are given Doesn't really mean anything relative to Something that I can understand or the The it's not the number I need to decide If machine can do the work that I need It to do as a for instance I'm sitting On a mini skid Steer that just showed up at the Property yesterday and I spent a lot of Time trying to decide if this was the Right machine for me and it's sitting Here on my property and I still don't Know if it can do one of the main jobs I Need it to do I want this machine to be Able to move full baskets of firewood That weigh around 1,500 lb and and the Rated operating capacity of this machine Is less than 1500 lb but I think it can Move Them as far as that specific question I'll find out in the next couple days And I'll show that in a video but mainly I want to start off focusing with a Compact tractor or any tractor and the First thing we need to do is try to Understand what numbers we are given and

What those numbers mean and then how That relates to a number that matters to Me so when you look up a machine and you Want one answer a simple answer you Google you type in tractor model number Lift capacity it will give you one Number and that number typically means How much it can lift to full height at The Pin which is a number that doesn't mean Anything the only value you can take From that is that all manufacturers use That same system so you can compare this Model number is listed to lift 200 lb More than that one and extrapolate that To what it can actually carry but the Problem with that in terms of Practicality is I'm try not to ever lift A load to full height and move you might Lift for a second for a reason But so this tractor right here we'll Start with this it Says lift capacity 720 Lb but I've lifted 1,500 lb off of a Trailer a semi truck before I lift those 1500 lb totes all the time it can lift 1,700 lb an inch off the ground so why Are we not told that number and In Fairness to the manufacturers that's a Hard number to give because it still Depends on Variables how far out is the center of Your weight things like that how heavy Is your pallet Fork frame so it would be

Really difficult for them to give us the Number we need but the most helpful Information right now is is there any Way that we can find that out and There's a pretty good way to get Close So as I mentioned earlier the lift Capacity we are primarily given is if we Go to full height which we're at right Now and then we come to this Pin how much weight could you lift right Here all the way up and nobody H Ever Tries to do that really I guess Hypothetically like if you're trying to Pull a stump out or something there There's a scenario where you hook a Chain right there but really there's not Even anything to hook to right there so It's not a useful number some Manufacturers will give you a number on Their website that is 500 mm out from This point which I believe is 19 in but If you come out 500 mm and then see what You can lift to full height my machine Goes from 1,00 down to 800 lb so the Exact number is 803 ided 1120 means I can lift 72% as much w if I'm that far Out and I'm going to keep that number in Mind for our future conversation about This so if I'm thinking about buying This machine there's a list of things I I know I need to do and I use that to Decide if this machine can handle the

Job I need to do and that's I need to do Some brush cutting I need to level out My driveway I sometimes pick up firewood Totes I sometimes get Freight delivered I'd like to be able to pick up a pallet That weighs 1,300 pounds that was my Exact thought process when buying this Machine now there's some really smart Experienced people out there who will Say always just buy a bigger machine Than than you Need that's smart it makes sense but a Couple caveats number one a lot of us Are Spending a every penny they can afford On this there's a lot of people out There buying tractors they can't really Afford but they're going to do it anyway And so saying buy a bigger machine well It's another $110,000 like it's not just That easy and a secondary concern is That bigger machine may not do some Other things you need it to do I also Want to mow my yard with this or I like To pull it into this small shed that I Have like there are more considerations Than just the size and lift capacity so Besides lift capacity they tell us boom Breakout Force 1,949 lb so that means we're setting on The ground and we need to just budget Right at the pins 1,949 lb so technically I guess that Would be your lift capacity we've got a

Second number breakout Force at 500 mm So if your center of your weight is out Here what can you barely move off the Ground well that number is 1,360 lb so why am I telling you I can Lift 1,700 well I actually upgraded to The mechanical self-leveling loader that Has more lift capacity that makes the Conversation a little bit messy because I couldn't find the same numbers on the MSL but what we know right now is that The breakout Force At 500 millimeters Is 1360 lb so if we're being realistic What can I pick up 1360 lb minus the Weight of my Fork frame which is going To be Like 12200 lb so that is the best number I can find to extrapolate what this Machine can actually carry the next Thing that I have to say at this point Just in case there's someone watching Who doesn't already know is at all times You never want to lift anything heavy Higher than you absolutely have to lift It so if I can pick up, 1300 lb let's Say to waist height driving with that at Waist tide is a good way to flip your Machine over which is why skid steers And many skid steers don't give you a Lift capacity they give you a rated Operating capacity which is a function Of how much weight does it take to tip The machine over so now we've covered

The machine that I already have now Let's talk about the machines I've been Shopping for in larger tractors in the 40 to 60 horsepower range and I know That I want to be able to lift 3,000 lb is a minimum if I get a new Machine that can't lift 3,000 lb it's Not solving any problems around here I'd Like it to be able to lift 4,000 Lbs because I get big logs and I want to Be able to carry those big logs anything Over 4,000 lbs is probably too big for My Mill so I know how much I want to be Able to pick up but when I look at the Specifications on tractors in that Horsepower range they they won't lift Enough the lift capacities say 2700 lb 2800 lb and sounds like well shoot I Can't buy that size of tractor it won't Pick up enough and that's why this video Is supposed to be relevant because I Want to know if I can pick up these logs That I have here I've got log weight Calculators I can know the the weight of These logs I need to know if buying that Tractor will solve my log moving problem So I've looked up a couple of tractors That I have personally driven or looked At and thought they could probably Handle those logs one example would be a Tym 574 I don't want to buy that machine and Then find out if it can carry my logs or Not I know what the logs way I know the

Rated lift capacity of the tym 574 is 2790 at full height at the Pens so it's a lot less out away from The pens but it's a lot more down at Ground level so we're doing a math Problem Here breakout Force at ground level 5,316 Lbs that also doesn't tell me anything That's at the Pins earlier we found out that on my John Deere it can handle 71% of the Weight out 500 mm that it can up close So if we take that breakout force of 5316 and take it times that 72 that tells me that it should be able To lift 2800 lb an inch off the ground Out in front of the Forks so what can that tractor set on my Sawmill probably 3,500 lb I wish there Was a way to get that number from the Manufacturer but I understand why they Can't give it to me and to repeat Something I've already said I wouldn't want to use that tractor to Lift 3500 lbs 20 times a day all day Every day it's just lifting everything It can handle that's not ideal get a Bigger machine but a bigger machine Takes me from a hydrostat that I can Afford to a utility tractor with a Gear Drive that I can't afford and I'm not Doing it every day all the time so Finding out that that tractor can

Occasionally set a log that big onto my Sawmill is good information to have and The way I would do that is to say it can Probably pick up about 70% of its Breakout Force so we talked about the Fact that a tractor can lift much less As you go up and that's probably a good Thing because if it could lift as much At full height as it could at ground Level you'd have a lot of people tipping Their tractors over so the fact that it Works out that way is almost like an Accidental safety Feature that does not happen with a skid Steer it's almost the same in my Experience and my understanding is that This machine can lift almost the same Amount of weight through its full range Of motion but what happens is if you Lift your maximum lift capacity you'll Get up to a certain point and this Machine will just tip over so kind of a Scary deal so they don't tell you a lift Capacity to full height what they tell You is a rated operating weight now for A skid steer with tires they say Whatever it takes to tip the machine Over we're going to rate the operating Capacity at 50% so on this specific Machine tip rating is 7300 lb I believe 7,000 a little over 7,000 lbs breakout Force at the pins is Actually 8,750 or something like that but tipping

Load on this machine is 7,000 lb so they Rate it at 3500 lb on a wheel machine on A track machine they rate operating Capacity at 35% of the tip load so I Have Moved material that weighed 5 6,000 lbs With this machine by being very cautious Very low to the ground moving very Slow but it's actually rated for 2500 lb So you need to have that understanding About the capability versus what's safe And the way it's rated and I kind of Think it makes sense to rate it this way I almost wish the tractor would tell me That my tractor has a 1700 lb lift Capacity with a 900 lb rated operating Capacity but it is what it is and the Best we can do is try to understand how The numbers work now this little guy is Interesting and he's the hardest one to Figure out what he can actually pick up Because they put an 800 lb or a th000 I've found two different numbers for the Same machine I don't know how to Differentiate but I've seen either 800 Lb or 1,000 PBS is the rated operating Capacity on this but because it's so Short and the weight is so Compact the the change as you the weight Moves forward is so dramatically Different that the breakout Force at the Front of the bucket is 1,700 lb but at The pins it's like 4,000 so instead of 70% you're getting

Like 30% it's pretty wild and the reason for That is the hydraulics on this are Strong this the hydraulics on this could Lift 4,000 lbs which is great if you're Digging with it or something but for Actually lifting you don't have any Counterbalance there's not enough Ballast the machine's not long enough if You had this 3,000 machine PB machine But it was twice as long then you could Utilize that hydraulic power but the way It Is every inch you move out you Dramatically lose what you can lift and What's going to happen I've seen it is When you go to pick it up the the Machine will just lift straight up the Back of the Machine so I've done I've looked at all The numbers I'm pretty sure I can move My totes but it's going to be a day or Two before I find that out for sure all Right guys I guess to sum this up it's Been long winded I've done a lot of Talking but I'm really trying to give You information that's Helpful and the reason I'm sharing this Is because it's been on my mind finding Out if how to tell what a machine can Actually do before you buy it so the Best thing I can say is if you have the Opportunity to just buy a bigger machine Than you need then you don't have any

Problems but if that doesn't work out For you you can look at a percentage of The breakout Force as being a real Amount that you can carry and for a Tractor I'm thinking 70% from looking at Multiple model numbers I'm thinking 70% Of the breakout force is an amount you Can lift just a couple inches and carry Right at your limit and then you've got Another number that is what you can get To full height and then say you need to Get to waist height you can do some Estimation in there and as long as You're not moving fast turning or on the Side of a hill then that's what you can Carry I appreciate you taking time to Watch this video I'll put links on the Screen to a couple more of our videos And I'll see you next time

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